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Sage Popovers

popovers

Let this recipe be your secret weapon for any last-minute needs. These popovers are crisp and puffy, and since they’re hollow inside they lend themselves to all kinds of savory jams and spreads. They can be made entirely of ingredients you’re likely to have on hand, and the batter can be prepared ahead and refrigerated. Happy Thanksgiving!

 Sage Popovers

2 cups (500 ml) milk

2 bay leaves

4 eggs

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick/90 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour

2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage, plus 10 whole leaves

 

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the milk and bay leaves until small bubbles appear around the edges. Off the heat, let stand for 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Refrigerate the milk until cool.

 

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400ºF (200ºC). Place two 6-well popover pans in the oven for 5 minutes.

 

In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, butter, flour, salt, pepper and chopped sage. Blend on high speed until the batter is smooth.

 

Remove the pans from the oven and spray 10 wells with nonstick cooking spray. Fill each about three-fourths full with batter and top with a sage leaf.

 

Return the pans to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 325ºF (165ºC) and continue baking until the popovers are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove the pans from the oven and, using the tip of a small knife, pierce the top of each popover to allow the steam to escape. Remove from the pans and serve warm. Makes 10 popovers.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

cupcakes

A real southern classic, red velvet cake has just a hint of cocoa and a lovely red crumb. True to tradition, these party-worthy cupcakes are topped with rich cream cheese frosting.

If you want to amp up the red hue, replace 1 Tbs. of the cocoa with flour and add an extra 1 tsp. of red food coloring.

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cupcakes:

2 Tbs. natural cocoa powder

1⁄3 cup (3 fl. oz.⁄80 ml) boiling water

1 cup (8 fl. oz.⁄250 ml) buttermilk

3⁄4 cup (6 oz.⁄185 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1⁄2 cups (12 oz.⁄375 g) granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp. red gel food coloring

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt

2 1⁄2 cups (12 1⁄2 oz.⁄390 g) all-purpose flour

1 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. white distilled vinegar

 

For the frosting:

1⁄2 lb. (250 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

4 Tbs. (2 oz.⁄60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup (4 oz.⁄125 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

 

Candied nuts for garnish (optional)

 

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper liners or grease with butter and dust with flour.

 

In a bowl, whisk the cocoa into the boiling water. Let cool to lukewarm, then whisk in the buttermilk. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the food coloring, vanilla and salt. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the flour in 3 additions alternately with the buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Beat just until combined. In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda and vinegar, then quickly stir into the batter.

 

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling them about three-fourths full. Bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Meanwhile, make the frosting: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth, light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until thoroughly combined. If the frosting is too soft,
refrigerate it until it is spreadable, about 15 minutes.

 

Spread the cupcakes with the frosting. Sprinkle with candied nuts, if desired. The frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days; bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 18 cupcakes.